THE LION AND UNICORN
or, JUDAH AND ISRAEL
(Genesis 49:9, Numbers 24:8, 9, Jeremiah 31:18 Revelation 5:5, Deuteronomy 33:18, Hosea 10:11)
THE Almighty God foretold the destiny of Israel - "The elect nation" - from creation days. By His fore-knowledge He revealed their history in the placement of the stars of the heavens, which truly “declare the glory of God.” in the twelve tribal signs of the zodiac and their attendant constellations. He thus predestined this people to be like the stars-His divine earthly agents and His glory (Isaiah 43:7 and Isaiah 46:13). Amos 3:2 declares, “You only have I known of all the families of the earth"; it was by means of Israel that God determined to preserve a knowledge of Himself and thus prevent the creation of man from being a failure. His plan, therefore, for the salvation and deliverance of mankind. notwithstanding the fatal effects of the Fall, which meant eternal death was to be organised and carried out by the agency of Israel. Sin had so wrought upon man in about 1,700 years that God sent the Flood to destroy him, but preserved eight of one family of the line of Seth and Enoch to recommence human history.
The Divine plan, then, began again its course and continued it through the patriarchs-all of one lineage-Noah, Shem, Abram, Isaac, Jacob and his twelve Sons. All the events of Israel’s career were educational; their slavery in Egypt was a preparation, or an apprenticeship, for the part they had to fill; they there learnt, by contrast, to love freedom, liberty and justice, and to appreciate the Divine laws of Sinai given to them at their Exodus (Deuteronomy 10:19); they were ultimately to preach and enforce them on a sin-enslaved earth, which would fall under their rule (Deuteronomy 14:2 and 26:19) gradually in the latter days.
When the division of the tribes took place under Rehoboam, that king was warned not to attempt to recover the allegiance of the ten revolting tribes, Shemaiah the prophet declaring that "the thing was of God" - (1 Kings 12:24). The separation was evidentlv prearranged by him when Ahijah, Divinelv directed, tore Jeroboam’s mantle into twelve pieces, giving him ten portions as a sign of his approaching kingship over the ten tribes, which came to pass (I Kings 11:30). The northem kingdom was called ISRAEL, while the southern bore the name of JUDAH and consisted of Judah, Levi and Benjamin, who (though of the northern kingdom) was lent to Judah as a light (I Kings 11:36) till the crucifixion. It is a significant fact that the apostles and disciples of Jesus who responded most readily to His Call in Galilee were of the Benjamite tribe, and thus constituted 'the light' first illumined by the Lord. The parable of Zechariah 11:7-14 narrates the separation of the brethren (Beauty-Judah, and Bands-Israel). Benjamin’s flight and eventual dispersion is foretold in Jeremiah 6:1, and by Christ in Matthew 24:16-20, and materialised at the siege and destruction of Jerusalem by Titus AD. 70.
ISRAEL’s kings were all wicked and led the ten tribes into flagrant idolatry so that, after long and continuous warning by their expressly raised-up prophets, they were all led into captivity, 721 B.C., and were so completely lost that they never again were distinguished by the sacred name of Israel; but when they reappear in history it is as the Khumri, Scythians, Sacae, Gazae and Iberians, from which are derived the more modern appellations - Cymri (Wales), Scotia, Saxons, Goths, Hibernians. They are thus traceable from the Greek historians as they migrated at intervals from Medo-Persia into Europe via the Caspian and the Black Seas, or via Asia Minor into the isles and coastlards of the Mediterranean, making their way north and west of Europe, and finally to the Ultima Thule of their wanderings - the BRITISH ISLES - the place God had specially prepared for them (II Samuel 7:10).
JUDAH has never been lost, but, after suffering a captivity of seventy years in Babylon, they remained in Palestine till the birth of Messiah. They were “men of signs” (Isaiah 8:18), but subsequent to their rejection of Jesus they were punished by their entire expulsion from Palestine and their dispersion over the earth to this day; yet their adhesion to the Mosaic law has kept them a distinct people in all their wanderings, where they have so remarkably witnessed in this manner to His eternal truth.
The parable of the prodigal son proves our statement; the prodigal Ephraim wasted his possessions in riotous living among the heathen and became Gentilised, but Judah remained faithful to the law and avoided idolatry after the Babylonish captivity.
The foregoing clearly shows how diverse and distinct the history of the House of Judah and the House of Israel has been ever since the division into the two kingdoms in the reign of Rehoboam.
If we retrace our steps back to the time prior to that division, we find two leading tribes were specially marked out, i.e. Judah for the kingship through David to Messiah, and Joseph or Ephraim for the birthright. Judah’s tribal banner in the wilderness bore the lion as their Royal insignia; hence Christ, who sprang from Judah, was called the lion of that tribe par excellence. Joseph or Ephraim’s banner bore the ox or bull (wild bull or unicorn), indicative of the pushing power of that tribe who had the birthright blessing and who, with his brethren, would ultimately inherit the earth (I Chronicles 5:2), and have the possession of the gates of his enemies-pre-eminently the sea gate (Genesis 22:17). Thus, the two kingdoms. north and south, were clearly distinguished by the symbols on their standards.
We can understand the significance of the UNICORN being on our RoyalArms when we know that the British nation is the northern kingdom of ISRAEL, but the placement thereon of the LION, the emblem of the Royal House of Judah, requires a word of explanation, for JUDAH - the Jews - are not yet nationally joined with us, but are scattered throughout the world. It would appear that when the temporal throne of David apparently ceased in Jerusalem 586 B.C., the prophet Jeremiah fled with Tea Tephi, the daughter of Zedekiah, down into Egypt, and finally arrived in Ireland with the royal seed, and by the union of Zedekiah's daughter with Heremon, arch-king Eochaidh of Ulster, the royal line of Judah was continued over Israel in these islands, and from that marriage can be traced the descent of our Queen. So we have the monarch of JUDAH, the southern kingdom, reigning over Israel, the northern kingdom, in these islands to the present time, and hence our emblems the LION and UNICORN on the Royal Standard.
In the dream of Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2) is pictured the four great metal human empires which were to subjugate and rule the earth successively from that time till the end of man's kingship. They are Assyria (Babylon), Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome and its modern representatives. In continuance of the Divine purpose, it is distinctly stated that during the period of these empires, God would raise up another kingdom, which should last for ever. There can be no doubt of its identity; it is to be human (Daniel 2:44) and as the divine agent of Jehovah, it must be that kingdom now existing which most resembles the inspired portraiture. The stone kingdom of Daniel 2:35 is undoubtedly the kingdom of ISRAEL, represented principally or best today by the (late) BRITISH Empire. It is not a perfect kingdom but it is now doing the pioneer preparation work for the coming of its final stone King, Messiah, who will complete and crown the Divine purpose in all Israel, and reign for 1,000 years in righteousness over them and all the earth; nor must it be confused with the spiritual (precious stone) kingdom of Christ-Jerusalem above (Revelation 19:10).
Daniel 2 relates that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and is therefore Divinely formed. As these islands were separated from the continent of Europe by Divine creative power, so has the stone kingdom of Israel been fashioned in the course of history by the same Hands and preserved from destruction; and though its sins and imperfections are many, yet it shall endure, because Scripture declares:
"I am Jehovah, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed" - (Malachi 3:6).
The smiting of the metal image by the stone kingdom has commenced. The Kingdom Message held the reins in the late war by sea power and finance, and is effectively carrying out the Divine will.
The British principles of government are based on the laws of Sinai, which make for righteousness and on the same foundation will Messiah rule during the millennium. At this juncture also will Judah, or the Jews, having walked to Israel, be united under one *king (Jeremiah 3:18; Hosea 1:11); and again,
"Behold I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in Mine Hand" - (Ezekiel 37:19).
Britain is now gradually waking up to discover her identity, for she is doing the work, Divinely allotted in Scripture to the people of Israel-to be God's witnesses. How better can she prove her destiny than by scattering the good seed of Scripture among all nations, as she is doing this day by means of the British and Foreign Bible Society and its fellows.
The following words will be ever the consolation of the Kingdom Message when the clouds of war seem to overwhelm her:
"Though I make a full end of all nations [their governments and rule of iron],...yet will I not make a full end of thee; but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished" - (Jeremiah 30:11).
Correction is not destruction. God cast off Israel for sin, but not away.
The unicorn, or wild ox, on our Royal Standard depicts two phases of Israel's condition: it has a chain round its neck to remind us of its captivity; but that chain is broken, and that sign introduces the second chapter of its history - it is free; and the flag waving over these islands is the symbol of Israel's Divine mission to set free under Christ all other nations. Hosea portrays Israel as divorced from Jehovah, but remarried after a period of testing-time, so that they were never in reality lost to God, but ever, as was Judah, a people of "signs and wonders"; from the marvellous birth of Isaac, they have been miraculously led and kept, in spite of their natural tendency to run after other gods, and imitate idolatrous nations; their elective condition never, happily, depended upon their faithfulness to God, but because Jehovah had promised their fathers, and He was unchangeable.
"It is not for your merits, nor for your righteousness, that God hath chosen you, but because He had a love for your fathers and a delight in them" - (Deuteronomy 10:15 and 9:5).
We must be careful not to confuse this election of race or birthright without conditions with the election of grace, for here we must "MAKE our calling and election sure."
God has perpetually preserved Israel as a race in spite of their disobedience.
The Jews failed to receive Christ and understand the kingdom He came to set up in their midst and the work of this kingdom was entrusted to Israel (Matthew 21:43), who accepted the Gospel notwithstanding their then Gentilised or idolatrous condition. when the apostles and their successors spread it among them; hence it is evident that the holy oracles long preserved by Judah passed after the overthrow of Jerusalem AD. 70 to the custody of Israel in Britain (circa AD. 35) in association with the New Testament.
The nomenclature of the twelve tribes in the Scripture must be distinctly defined and understood for accurate elucidation. We may therefore observe that the name Jacob (Isaiah 27:9), when representing his descendants as a nation, covers the whole twelve tribes, as also does the term Israel up to the period of the division into two kingdoms during the reign of Rehoboam. After 975 B.C. the appellation Israel is mainly confined in Scripture to the ten tribes. The term Judah has never included or been applied to the ten tribes, while the name of Joseph is so employed in Zechaiiah 10:6. and again in Hosea. Ephraim is also a frequent appellation (Isaiah 7:8, 9) by which the lost tribes of Israel were designated and described. Paul, though retaining his Benjamnite tribal identity, called himself a Jew because he was educated and trained up among them as a Pharisee who strictly observed the Mosaic laws; there may likewise have been other individuals of the ten tribes specially from the Benjamites who were situated like Paul. Luke 2:36 records the case of Anna of the tribe of Asher, yet these few people could not have represented the lost ten tribes nor constituted at the time of our Lord that Israelite nation who were then scattered far and wide.
The great mission of the Gospel was given by the Master to His apostles, after the rejection of Him by the Jews, to go to the Gentiles, i.e. Israelite idolators - the Lost Sheep of the house of Israel. They came on this errand, therefore, among other places to Britain AD. 35.
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